Better Late Than Never

This last weekend, I read two of the best books… of 2020… and 2017. Whoops? But also: Worth. The. Wait.

The Guest List, by Lucy Foley. My friend Jenny got me a Book of the Month subscription for Christmas… and it took me three months to decide on my first order. Because Jenny and our mutual friend Jess were getting the other books I was interested in for March, I chose the most white lady thriller of the bunch, Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment. Jenny commented that “[rhat author] wrote that book everyone loved but I didn’t read”, aka The Guest List, so when I saw it on display in my work’s paperback library, I had to grab it. I read a *lot* of white lady thrillers and this is one of the best of the bunch. There is 100% a reason everyone loved it. I actively gasped at one reveal… and still didn’t guess the others. Granted, I was exhausted from RAGTIME show week, BUT STILL. So fun. Everyone loved it for a reason and now I can add my 2¢.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Last year, I finally read Daisy Jones and the Six, which I somehow thought was her debut? Clearly, I was very wrong. I had heard of this book, but never put the two together, apparently. Again, I saw this book on display through the window of our fiction library at work, and grabbed it ASAP. I was a little distracted at first because it’s not set up in interview transcript form like Daisy or Last Revival of Opal & Nev — as much as I thought I would hate that style when I started them. And I LOVED those, too. Even if the “writer” of Opal & Nev was probably very influenced by the “writer” of Evelyn Hugo’s biography. And it’s Very. Obvious. how Jenkins Reid’s earlier work informed her later…. and that I am Very. Behind. The. Times.

Both of these books took me a bit to get through the first few pages because I was “oh, ‘another Then There Were None’ and ‘another Performer Interview’. But after that – HOLY HECK. One. Sitting. These books are everything everyone says they are and more. Guest List is pure white lady thriller (my favorite genre) and Evelyn is everything a white lady book club wants: scandal *and* pathos. Poor Hampton having to watch me cry on the couch during March Madness.

All this to say: nothing wrong with joining the party late. And nothing wrong with popular. Sometimes they’re the most delightful surprises.

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